July 24, 2017
It’s happened to all of us. One person in a company wide email chain hits “Reply All” and it begins: the tidal wave of notifications that are neither important nor necessary. While email is a proven tool across the business world, this flaw has driven lesser employees insane, crippling their productivity for anywhere between five minutes and 20 years (the average span of a “Reply All” email chain). Fortunately, there is a solution.
Apparently, despite every person with an email address and a beating heart condemning this practice more than the use of memes in Slack, Gmail has been hiding a simple feature that could completely transform how you interact with those people that can’t help but hit the “Reply All” button.
It’s actually quite simple. Once you’ve selected the email chain in question, simple click the “More” button (down the queue from the “Delete” button, which you’re no doubt familiar with), and select “Mute” as soon as humanly possible. And alas, the problem is solved.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: what if, somehow some way, a piece of important information is actually shared in a “Reply All” email chain? In preparation for this outlandish claim that, as far as I’m concerned, has never happened in the history of Gmail, have no fear. Muting the chain mere archives the responses in an easy-to-find, notification-less section of your inbox. Plus, if you miss all the dinging and vibration of unwanted notifications, you can always un-mute the chain with the same process.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating here when I say that this little trick could improve productivity ten fold across the board. If everyone was aware that “Reply All” email chains were optional annoyances rather than mandatory productivity suckers, the world would undeniably be a better place.
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